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Posts Tagged ‘artisans’

Carved from the wood of the copal, an owl for my older son.

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Carved by Lauro Ramírez and painted by Griselda Morales, San Antonio Arrazola, Oaxaca

A rabbit for my daughter-in-law.

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Carved by Mario Castellanos and painted by Reina Ramirez, San Antonio Arrazola, Oaxaca

A lion for my grandson.

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Carved by Zeny Fuentes Santiago and painted by Reyna Piña Ramírez, San Martín Tilcajete, Oaxaca

And, a horse for my granddaughter.

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Carved by Jesús Hernández Torres and painted by Roxana Fabian Ortega, San Martín Tilcajete, Oaxaca

Beautifully hand carved and painted alebrije for my family.

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I couldn’t resist posting more from the Encuentro de Cocineras Tradicionales de Oaxaca 2018 to tempt you to put next year’s gathering of traditional Oaxacan cooks on your calendar.

Amazing traditional cooks from the state of Oaxaca served up taste tempting fare in the Plaza de la Danza for four full, and I mean FULL days, April 25-28.

And, should one be inspired to immediately head to one’s own kitchen, the Mercado Oaxaca set up in the courtyard of the Facultad de Bellas Artes (across from the Plaza de la Danza) offered mouth-watering fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, dried chiles, honeys, vinegars, and so much more.  I came away with a luscious cantaloupe.

In addition, to assist one in the preparation and serving of one’s own delicious meals, Arte de la Mesa presented vendors, next door in the courtyard of the Palacio Municipal, selling “made in Oaxaca” glassware, utensils, pottery, placemats, tablecloths, and dish towels, aprons, metates and molcajetes, among other kitchenware.

Do you see the piggy-face molcajete?  I bought it and have spent hours and hours, not to mention muscle power, seasoning it.  If you don’t believe me, use your favorite search engine to check out the various methods — there are no shortcuts!

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are in the rear view mirror,  December is upon us — only twenty-three more shopping days until Christmas — and the shopping frenzy in el norte continues.  Thanks, but no thanks, I say.   I prefer this…

Weaver from the Katyi Ya'a Taller Colectivo de Algodón Native (Collective workshop using native cottons)

Weaver from the Katyi Ya’a Taller Colectivo de Algodón Native (Collective workshop using native cottons)

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, I took leisurely stroll down to the 2-day expo-venta (exposition and sale), sponsored by the Museo Textil de Oaxaca and held in the tranquility of the Centro Cultural San Pablo patio.  After much oohing and ahhing and talking with many of the artisans, I headed up 5 de mayo to one of my favorite pocket courtyards and the shops tucked in along its garden path…

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5 de mayo #408 – home to tapetes (rugs) at the Fe y Lola gallery and Seasons of My Heart retail store, among other small shops.

I won’t reveal where or if I bought anything — I wouldn’t want to spoil any Christmas surprises!  What I will say is… I prefer strolling to rushing; personally meeting and paying the artisans for their work to handing over a credit card at an impersonal department store; and, perhaps most of all, experiencing the pride radiated by an item’s creator when I admire their work.

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Despite of the name, Noche de Rábanos isn’t just about carving radishes.  The creativity and ingenuity of the gardeners and artisans of Oaxaca in several other categories are also on display — Flor Inmortal (dried flowers), Totomoxtle (dried corn husks) Natural, and Totomoxtle Decorated, as well as two Children’s categories.

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First place in the Totomoxtle Natural category went to Elpidio Adrián González López and his amazing creation, Mercado Antiguo en la Plaza de las Armas 1885.

If you missed it December 23 on the zócalo, or want to see it up close and personal, head over to CaféCafé, on the corner of Porfirio Díaz and M. Bravo.

It will be on display until January 6, 2014.

h/t Jane & Ken

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Watching the watcher…

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This morning at Noche de Rábanos.

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This morning I walked down to the zócalo to watch artists at work — it’s Noche de Rábanos (Night of the Radishes).   This December 23 “only in Oaxaca” tradition has been a mainstay of the holiday season since 1897.  I know, who would have thought radishes could elicit such creativity?  But, they definitely do!  Here is Adrián Antonio Flores Peña working on his piece, Quebrantahueso (bearded vulture).

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More to come… I just have to weed through the 300+ other photos I took!

UPDATE:  Adrián Antonio Flores Peña won first place in the “Free” (as opposed to “Traditional”) category.

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There are only a few more days left to be delighted by “Manos que crean y ojos que leen” (Hands that create and eyes that read), a whimsical exhibition of popular art at the Biblioteca Andrés Henestrosa.  The pieces were commissioned by Rosa Blum (who, with Henry Wangeman, owns Oaxaca’s bilingual bookstore Amate Books) to celebrate reading and promote the incredibly creative artisans of Oaxaca who were suffering from a drop in tourism following the social conflict of 2006.

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So…  If you are in Oaxaca, be sure to see it before it closes at the end of this month.  If not, you might want to consider a trip down here (Oaxaca is NOT on the US State Department travel warning list), visit some of these artisans in their villages, see their work up close and personal, and perhaps purchase a few unique treasures from these talented people.

For other pieces in the exhibit, see Chris’s photos over at Oaxaca-The Year After.

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